Jnanendra Nath Mukherjee obtained his MSc (1915) from University of Calcutta specializing in electrochemistry, colloids, and soil science. He served as the Professor of Chemistry, University of Calcutta; Director, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi; Founder Director, Central Building Research Institute, Roorkee; Administrator, Board of Secondary Education, West Bengal (1954-56) and Member, Union Public Service Commission (1956-58).
Academic and Research Achievements: Mukherjee’s work on the electrochemistry of colloids is considered highly significant. He is also well known for the boundary method he developed for determining the cataphoretic speed of colloid particles. His researches shed light on soil properties and problems. Going beyond the confines of laboratory research, Mukherjee brought to fore the importance of soil surveys for agricultural development. He prepared (with B Viswanath and AC Ukil) soil map of India (1944) and later revised it (1954).
Other Contributions: Mukherjee was responsible for the founding of the Indian National Science Academy as a member of the committee formed in accordance with the resolution adopted at a meeting of the Indian Science Congress Association held on January 03, 1934. He served as Chairman, Homeopathic Enquiry Committee, Sub-committee on Soil Conservation and Afforestation of National Planning Committee of Indian National Congress (1938), Member, Policy Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Viceroy’s Executive Council (1944-45); Member, Coordination Committee in Science, Government of India; Member, Board and Technical Committee, CSIR; Vice-President, Indian Statistical Institute; chaired many technical committees of CSIR, ICAR and of many universities and of Government of West Bengal.
Awards and Honours: Mukherjee was a Fellow, Indian Academy of Science, Bangalore, Indian Chemical Association and Royal Society of Chemistry (London); Founder Secretary, Indian Chemical Society, President (1935-36), Indian Society of Soil Science; Member, Council (1935-38), Vice-President (1941-42), Foreign Secretary, INSA (1943-44 and 1947-51) and General President, Indian Science Congress Association (1952).